Daddy, Where Does Our Lap Go When We Stand Up?

A, B, C, D , E, F, G..

This was a question that my 8-year-old daughter posed to me earlier this year and I had absolutely no idea how to answer it. And I thought that was pretty cool! Kids’ brains work in ways that we can’t even imagine.

derektennisball

(My son several years ago)

My concern is that we are not taking full advantage of this gift we have right before our very eyes. Our children and our students have the benefit of experiencing many of life’s moments prima facie, and because they are experiencing these moments for the first time, their take on them is pristine.

H, I, J, K …

Ours’ on the other hand is not. Unfortunately for many of us, by the time we have reached adulthood, we have developed mental calluses such that we are unable to truly experience the world simply as it is. Instead we see the world as we think it should be, or as someone told us it should be, or as we read it should be. But not usually as it is.

L, M, N, O, P …

Only children can truly experience the world for what it is. Yet we are taking this for granted. Our children’s’ innocence and pristine view of the world is becoming an endangered commodity. Their window of innocence is shrinking right before our eyes and we are letting it happen.

Q, R, S …

kindergarten

“I am a photographer. This is my daughter.

..and this is the first photo of her that I have ever hated.”

Kelly Poynter

And yet we seemed determined to fill our children’s’ brains with more and more information at younger and younger ages. What students are expected to know before they leave kindergarten has increased exponentially in the last few years so that we can prepare them to be college and career ready.

T, U, V …

I believe we have this whole thing backwards! We should be trying to extract as much as possible from our children’s’ brains while they are still young. While they still see the world as it is. Unfiltered. Let them ask the questions. Let them tell the stories. Let them tell us how they see the world. There is so much we can learn from them if we would just stop trying so hard to fill them up and instead let them fill us in.

dereks view

(My son today)

W, X …

“Mr. Golden Sun went to be with his mommy and daddy.” This is my son’s current theory on where the sun goes at night. Unfortunately, he probably won’t be thinking this way much longer.

Our children’s minds are a precious commodity that we can not take for granted. Their pristine view of the world is becoming an endangered resource. It’s not enough to hang up posters and display cute knick-knacks that say we value children’s voices.

valuechildren

Y & Z …

We have to mean it.

We have to listen with both ears.

Because we only have them for a little while. And they will grow up. And by then they will no longer see the world as it is. They will see the world filtered through many layers. Some that don’t even allow for light to shine through.

Now I know my A, B, C’s…

Let’s pay attention before it’s too late. Let’s try to extend this window as long as we can. Their voice matters. Let’s add them to our PLN and not limit them to 140 characters.

And as for my answer to my daughter’s question about what happens to our lap when we stand up; I have no idea, but what I do know is that that question would have never entered my mind and I bet it wouldn’t have entered yours.

“Grown-ups love figures… When you tell them you’ve made a new friend they never ask you any questions about essential matters. They never say to you “What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies? ” Instead they demand “How old is he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make? ” Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

Next

time

won’t

you

sing

with

me …

I sure am going to miss Mr. Golden Sun. I think I’m going to keep him around as long as I can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Another great piece, Jon. I worry about the layers that the world piles onto our children too. I think about not only academic pressures but social-emotional pressures to all be the same, do the same things, see things the same way. Thank you for making us stop and think….and look for Mr. Golden Sun.

  2. I can say for sure that the writer of this post always let me experience the world first before ever defining it for me. But, every kid is not as lucky to have a brother like Jon.

    I hope we return to trusting that nature will do her job and stop measuring every move a kid makes.

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